20 things we learned from the Miami Dolphins’ 33-24 win over the New England Patriots – The Mercury News

Miami Dolphins not advancing to playoffs But at least for the whole season the team won’t have a sour taste in their mouths.,

Dolphins 33-24 win over New England Patriots, which produced the Patriots’ first series sweep in 20 years, allowing Miami to finish the 2021 season with a 9-8 record.

That’s right, the same Dolphins team that started 1-7 Won eight of the last nine games of the season And ended the season as the winner.

Here are some more takeaways from the season finale against the Patriots.

Dolphins deliver back-to-back winning seasons

Miami’s season-ending victory over the Patriots gave the Dolphins the franchise’s first back-to-back winning season since 2002–03, when the Dave Vanstead-led Dolphins team finished 2002 9–7 and its The latter followed it up with a 10–6 season. in 2003. What does this mean for dolphins? It’s hard to tell outside the fact that Brian Flores coached a resilient team that started the year 1-7 and came back winning eight of their last nine matches. But who knows where it goes, considering Vanstead’s team then went 4-12 the next season, and was fired in midseason. — Omar Kelly

Patriots’ first sweep in 20 years

It’s been 20 years since the Dolphins swept the Patriots. But these patriots don’t seem so scary since Tom Brady left. In fact, the Dolphins have won three straight, including this season’s series sweep. And coincidentally, or not, Tua Tagovailoa owns a 3-0 record against New England in his two-season game against the Patriots. Tagovailoa didn’t have impressive figures on Sunday (109 passing yards and a touchdown), but his first run late in the fourth quarter in the final two minutes of the game sealed the win.

Jaylen Waddell sets NFL rookie record

Waddell sets the NFL rookie record for reception with a 7-yard touchdown catch from Tagovailoa. Waddle, who finished the season with 104 receptions for 1,015 yards, also became the 11th Dolphins player to pull down 1,000 yards in a season. He is the second Dolphins receiver with 100 or more receptions in a season, joining Jarvis Landry, who achieved the feat twice. Waddell tied Miles Gaskin for the team lead with seven touchdowns.

Duke Johnson Offers Another 100-Yard Rushing Game

Johnson gave his second 100-yard rushing performance for the Dolphins in his fifth game with the team, as he was added around midseason and called from the practice team three weeks earlier. Johnson, who finished the game with 117 rushing yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, has been a pleasant surprise for Miami. The Dolphins need to seriously consider re-signing this offseason as he was the only player to save the run game this season.

Mike Gesicki shines in a unique role

Gesicki pulled two passes for 22 yards, which allowed him to end the second season in the team with 73 receptions for 780 yards. Gesicki surpassed his career-high exception touchdowns in his unique role in the Miami offense, where he has worked more as a receiver than a tight end. Now the Dolphins have a tough decision to take against Gassicki this off-season Considering that he would become an unrestricted free agent if a deal doesn’t work out between now and the introduction of free agency in March.

Xavian Howard scores second defensive

Xavian Howard pulled off his fifth interception of the season, and returned it in the first quarter for his second touchdown of the year. Howard’s 27 interceptions are the most in the NFL in that period since he entered the league in 2016. It was the second pick-six of Howard’s career. They also had a December 3, 2017 vs Denver match.

Trent Brown should be on Miami’s shopping list

The Dolphins should take a long and hard look at Patriots right tackle Brown, who will become an unrestricted free agent when Patriots season ends. The 6-foot-7, 380-pound offensive lineman is an eclipse on the football field, and would be the ideal addition to the defense of Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side. The 28-year-old had the potential to earn $9 million this season if he hits a weighting clause in his deal. New England cut his salary by $6 million when they acquired him from the Raiders last season, but the Browns shortened his deal to a year so he could hit free agency this coming off-season .

Unfinished rookie starts first NFL game

The season finale is an awkward time to pull the plug on Jesse Davis, who struggled as the Dolphins’ opening right tackle for most of the season. But the Dolphins did exactly that when they introduced Robert Jones, an unapologetic rookie from the state of Middle Tennessee. Jones is a player he has had a high opinion of since coaching him in the Senior Bowl last year. Jones missed the fourth quarter due to injury, and Davis ended the game.

Maximum protection at the end of the half

If there was ever more evidence that the entire offensive line needed to be rebuilt, it was the final game of the first half. With 11 seconds left on the clock of the game, the Dolphins decided on maximum safety at third and -1 from New England’s 44-yard line. As a result, the Dolphins sent three receivers to be covered by six defenders, and Tagovailoa took a scuffle with a 1-yard gain. It was a terrible way to capitalize on a scoring opportunity, but the Dolphins had taken so many bad sacks in those conditions, I’m sure offensive coordinator George Godse was trying to prevent a disastrous game.

Christian Wilkins Leads NFL D-Linemen in Tackles

Christian Wilkins finished Sunday’s game against New England with seven tackles, allowing him to finish the season as the NFL’s leading tackler for defensive lineman. He came into the game overtaking Pittsburgh’s Cameron Hayward, who finished the season with 89 on the first day, contributing his seven tackles and a sack. Wilkins’s breakout year, which included 4.5 sacks, virtually ensures the Dolphins will opt for a fifth year on his contract this May, which will guarantee him $10 million in 2023.

What can be done to make Tua Tagovailoa an impressive quarterback? Later The first series of the game?

The numbers read like a misprint. In the 12 starts Tua Tagovailoa made this season, his passer rating on his first drive to Miami was a first-team All-Pro-Level 115.2 (47 out of 56 for 412 yards, three touchdown passes and no interception). But, after that, it was as if his car turned into a pumpkin, as his passer rating for the rest of his season was well below the NFL average of 87.5 (216 in 322 for 2,241 yards, 13 touchdown passes and all 10 of his). fell. Intercept). — Steve Swekiso

It’s been 20 years since the Dolphins had half a dozen non-aggressive touchdowns

Sam Aguavoen’s season-end fumble-recovery touchdown marked the sixth touchdown scored by defense or special teams. The last time the Dolphins had pummeled many was in 2001 when Dave Wanstedt’s crew pummeled seven of them. This year, Xavian Howard scored twice and Alandon Roberts, Justin Coleman, Nick Needham and Aguavone scored on a house call each.

Can the Dolphins’ run game play against Bill Belichick at home every week?

Miami won their best performance of the season against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium for the second year in a row. In 2020, the Dolphins, seemingly out of nowhere, produced HRS for their highest production of the season (250), 27% more than New England’s previous worst number (197), and 187% more than Miami’s output. But ran on the pat. Vs NE in the 2020 opener (87). The Pats entered the game allowing 1,612 run yards on 366 carries, for a 4.40 per-carry average. this year? Miami, led by Duke Johnson’s 117 yards, also had a season-best 195 yards through the Patriots. The Patriots’ run defense isn’t quite as good as it was last year, allowing 2,103 rushing yards for 4.53 yards on 464 carries, but it’s a good day whenever you pound the Belichick defense.

Tagovailoa staggers his snap count to gain a lot

Tua showed an amazing wrinkle in the offense’s two touchdown drives. One thing that stands out on Tua’s video, as a possible product of his youth, is to immediately approach him at the first “hut” without fail. The Patriots looked like they had picked up on Miami’s first possession Dolphins quarterback, called Hut, and Snape immediately did nothing. Patriots defensive tackle Carl Davis Jr. crashed for a rare encroachment flag by a Miami opponent this year, oiling that touchdown drive. Then, at the end of the third quarter, Tua executed it again, portraying Dietrich Weiss.

How are the dolphins going to make Jaylen Waddell another threat?

Miami spent two first-round picks going from 12th pick to sixth to choose Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddell. Waddell sets NFL rookie record with 104 catches, But buried under that gap is that Waddles are often caught close in the form of a long handoff. On his five receptions against the Patriots, Waddell caught Tagovailoa only 1.6 yards from the average line of catch. He averaged 3.8 yards after the catch, another poor number. Entering the final week of the season (before those Patriots stats were added), Waddle finished 91st in the NFL at 5.73 per catch before grab (YBC). This number increased to 5.53 YBC after the season finale. Waddles’ yards after catch (YAC) was 4.25 for a similar 96th NFL ranking. That number also dropped to 4.23 in the season finale. That must be fixed, at least either the distance before the grab, or after it is long enough in 2022. Right now, the trade from 12, where Micah Parsons was picked, is not a good slam-dunk move.

All three NFL QBs attending Alabama had one thing in common.

Tagovailoa, Mack Jones and Jalen Harts have all suffered in road games. In his career, Jones has a 97.5 home passer rating, Tua 95.1 and Hurts A 86.3. But, suiting up in the visitor’s locker room for the Tide trio (Hearts transfer and Oklahoma graduate) has been a different story. In those games, Jones still leads the pack, but trails with 85.4, Hurts with 83.6, and Tagovailoa Trails with 82.1. By comparison, Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers, who was passed by the Dolphins in the 2020 draft and ending his second season with a game in Las Vegas on Sunday night, scored a 96.7 rating at home and 101.7 away in the Raiders game. logging in. LA. From

Bill Belichick Shula-Record Tracker

Belichick, who turns 70 in April, is still on deck with 321 career wins in the playoffs. He needs 26 wins to break Don Shula’s record.

Dan Marino I. weekly reminder of the greatness of

Social media promoted Saturday that Patrick Mahomes was the second-fastest 150 touchdown pass in NFL history, behind only Marino. Lest one think the two are remotely close, the average NFL average passer rating between starting QBs from 1983 to 1987 three non-strike games (when Marino set the mark) was 76.0. Over the past four seasons, the NFL average has been 92.9. It is so easy to pass in today’s game.

The offense under Tua Tagovailoa ended up scoring below the allowed average by opposing defenses against the rest of the NFL.

The Dolphins offense finished the season with 20 points against the Patriots, whose defense allowed 15.5 points per game in their 15 games against the rest of the NFL. This marked the fifth time in Tagovailoa’s 11 games that the Dolphins offense had scored more points than the average allowed by the opposition in their games against the rest of the NFL. Nevertheless, the unit under Tua (yes, it was worse under Jacobi Brissette, as might be expected from the backup) scored 19.4 points in one game, while defending enemies allowed 22.1 points against everyone else. Gave.

Dan Marino II’s Weekly Reminder of Greatness

Johnny Unitas set the NFL record for TD passes with 32 in 1959, the final 12-game season. George Blanda then broke it in 1961 with 36 in a 14-game season (so, per game, Unitas still held the record), and YA Tittle tied it in 1963. The NFL played 16 games in 1978, and no one threatened Blanda. /Title’s raw numbers and, even less, Unitas’ 2.67 TD goes through a game in the first six years, getting as close as anyone in 1981 with Dan Fouts’ 33. Then, Danny’s 1984, 48 TD passes and 3.0 a game. To see Marino play his second season with this defense-disrupting rule structure, the production would be unimaginable.